Brussels — The European Waste and Resource Management Industry Association FEAD is calling on the Conference on sustainable, innovative and socially responsible public procurement being held in Paris on 2 June to demand European Commission guidelines for Member States to ensure proper implementation of the EU Public Procurement Package.
The latest Commission report shows that only 14 Member States have fully transposed the Package, over a year after the transposition deadline of 18 April 2016. This long delay is partially caused by the complexity of the EU legislation. FEAD members are therefore urging the Commission to issue guidelines on interpreting the exemptions from the public procurement rules and other most problematic provisions so that contracting authorities do not misinterpret the rules and force private companies to go to court.
Preconditions for the private sector needed
Guidance from the Commission would also contribute to progress towards a more circular economy, which can only be achieved if major changes are made in the use of resources and the new EU policy measures are properly implemented in all the fields, including public procurement. The private waste and resource management companies play a key role in a circular economy by delivering high quality services, turning waste into resources, protecting the environment and creating jobs. Preconditions for the private sector to make the necessary investments to deliver these outcomes are clear rules, a level playing field, and opening up the waste market for increased competition.
Many municipalities in European countries set up waste management companies or inter-municipality cooperation, not only to collect and treat household waste, but also to compete on the commercial, industrial and even the EPR markets. These companies or organisations often have directly awarded contracts, thereby mixing non-commercial and commercial activities within the same company. There are many examples of unfair competition between the private and public sector, which leads to additional costs and risks for local tax and waste fee payers.
Properly transposition to avoid misuse
Nadine De Greef – FEAD Secretary General: “Free and fair competition in the market for waste services is crucial for developing a circular economy, so that the private sector can promote innovation, investment, growth and jobs. There is a need for clear regulations and efficient enforcement. Guidelines from the Commission would help Member States to properly transpose the Public Procurement Legislative Package and avoid the misuse of the rules”.
Guidelines from the Commission could help Member States to properly transpose the Public Procurement Legislative Package and avoid misuse of the rules:
- Municipalities should be required to clearly separate their role as local authority from their waste operator role.
- Municipalities should not be allowed to mix household waste management services with commercial activities. Separate accounting and auditing of monopoly and commercial operations must be better implemented and controlled.
- The EU and Member States must ensure that municipalities offering services on the commercial and industrial market comply with the public procurement rules (the Teckal criteria).
- Measures must be put in place to eliminate the risk of cross-subsidisation and illegal state aid in public waste management companies.
- VAT treatment must be equal between public and private sectors for delivering the same type of services.
- EU funding must be allocated to set up modern waste management infrastructure in line with the waste hierarchy.
Source: European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services (FEAD)